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On Stage: CLOG's "The Addams Family" comes to life on the Clay Center stage

Promotional picture of cast members of the Charleston Light Opera Guild production of "The Addams Family" (Courtesy: CLOG and Brian Marrs Photography)

They make up one of America's most famous clans. Created by Charles Addams in 1938, "The Addams Family" has been featured in newspapers, television and the movies.

In 2010, a musical version premiered on Broadway. It was nominated for two Tony and eight Drama Desk Awards.

"It really is a little bit different if for no other reason than some of the children are now older," Chris Terpening (Gomez Addams) said. "So, in this particular production Wednesday is older and now she has met a boyfriend and wants to get married. And so that actually sets up much of the action in it."

This production takes the story back to its roots by showcasing the classic Charles Addams versions of the characters, while modernizing the tale a bit. Gomez and Morticia's daughter Wednesday is now 18 years old and in love. She wants to marry a young man from Ohio, but for that to happen the two families must meet and get to know each other.

"I think you have the basics that made the TV show what it was," Elizabeth Cary Brown (Alice Beineke) said. "You have all the iconic characters. You've still got some of the gimmicks like Pugsley in the torture chamber, Grandma and her potions and Lurch. But it brings a different sense, I think, of humanity to the show when you have the music. I think you can really sense the relationships between the individuals."

"The Addams Family" has always entertained through comedy, but music becomes an important part of their tale with this show, adding emotion and depth to characters mostly known for sight gags, one-liners and odd habits.

"It probably just adds something that will bring in a whole different audience," Ashley Cowder (Uncle Fester) said. "You know, that fans of musicals and music in general will want to come see this."

"The music in this show is really very interesting," Terpening said. "It has that kind of spooky, macabre vibe to it. But yet it has very much, a lot of humor to it. It's that dark humor that you really come to know from the TV show and the movie."

"The music really leaves you going away humming and tapping your toes," Brown said. "It's good music. I really like it and I think it portrays the characters and the theme really well."

The Charleston Light Opera Guild presents "The Addams Family"
Oct. 27-28 / Nov 3-4 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees Sun Oct 29 and Nov 5 at 2:00 p.m.
Maier Foundation Performance Hall at the Clay Center
1 Clay Square, Charleston, WV
$25 plus fees
tickets.theclaycenter.org

CAST

Chris Terpening-Gomez
Sara Golden-Morticia
Heather Allen-Wednesday
Ashley B. Cowder Jr- Fester
Clayton Strohmenger-Lucas Beineke
Elizabeth Cary Brown-Alice Beineke
Mark Felton-Mal Beineke
Stevie Brigode-Grandma
Tayan Cooper-Pugsley
Kert Markus-Valdek Lurch
Ted Brightwell-Ancestor
Emma Dooley-Ancestor
Devin Elliott-Ancestor
Jake Guthrie-Ancestor
Ashley Harmon-Ancestor
Emily Houchens-Ancestor
Sarah King-Ancestor
Hannah O'Brien-Ancestor
Kim Patterson-Ancestor
Toni Pilato-Ancestor
Caroline Chamness Rainey-Ancestor
Danae Samms-Ancestor
Caroline Shriver-Ancestor
Austin A. Thomas-Ancestor
Rhiannon Turley-Ancestor
Tristan Valleau-Ancestor
Cameron Vance-Ancestor

Nina Denton Pasinetti-Director
John Marshall-Musical Director
David Patrick-Accompanist
Tom Pasinetti-Technical Director

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